Amazing lightning show above the Budwesier plant. This is a layered image equal to about a 2.5 minute exposure. Front Range Storm 06.22.09. Rocky Mountains, Colorado. Fort Collins, Anheuser Busch Budweiser Brewery.
So it’s Monday June 22nd, 9:30 at night and I am thinking there will be no storms tonight YEA, I need a break and boom another one comes in fast and furious. How many so far???
I have to tell you this was one of the scariest storms I have ever chased. Flashes of lightning in the clouds hitting in ALL directions. You could not tell where the bolts were going to strike. Now that’s very dangerous. This storm really scared me. There were times I would not even get out of the SUV. I chased this storm all over Boulder County open space looking for something interesting to photograph with the storm in the right position. Not always easy. It was heading North. This storm was so amazing and one of the only storms I have ever chased in 20 years like it. I was able to stay with this storm and it seemed we were traveling at the same speed.
My location was always right off the middle in the rain. So north we went…. looking for something good. Seemed I was always by houses and not the subjects I was looking for. And when I did find something, the storm was not in the right position. Went through Berthoud…. then Loveland…. then Fort Collins… and then… it happened. I was finally out of residential areas and in wide open space and there it was… The Budweiser plant, all lit up and ready for me. And I have to tell you it was crazy. Flashes in all directions and very dangerous. When I first started shooting I would hit my shutter button and then sit in the back of the SUV with my feet off the ground. ( Fact:" Rubber shoes will not give you any meaningful protection from lightning." So I am guessing my official Lightning shoes, crocs will not give "Meaningful "protection. Better than spikes ;-) That went on for a while. It got less threatening after a little time and I could relax without as much worry. The stormed hung in there till a little after midnight before heading into Wyoming. I almost kept going and I did for a little while but it was time to call it a night.
Fact: The Fourth of July is historically one of the most deadly times of the year for lightning in the U.S.. In summer, especially on a holiday, more people are outside, on the beach, golf course, mountains, or ball fields. Outdoor jobs such as construction and agriculture, and outdoor chores such as lawn mowing or house painting are at their peak, putting people involved in danger.
Where organized sports activities take place, coaches, umpires, referees, or camp counselors must protect the safety of the participants by stopping the activities sooner, so that the participants and spectators can get to a safe place before the lightning threat becomes significant.